Beginning the Year: Stop Signs

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Stop signs in the library for areas that need to be re-taught at the beginning of the year.

Last year, I spent a lot of time in the beginning of the year teaching rules, expectations, and how to use the library. I did a lot of modeling, had students model expected behaviors, and we practiced signals, cleaning up, and entering and exiting the library. I usually rush through everything since we don’t have much time in the library and I want kids getting right into lessons and check out. However, after taking the time to really make sure they understand expected behaviors and how to use the library, I’ll never go back. It made such a difference and everything else went more smoothly. I spent less time repeating myself and managing unexpected behavior throughout the rest of the year. As a … Continued

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Nonfiction Book Bins

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I have always used bins in my fiction collection to help students find series books more easily. I began using bins in certain sections of my nonfiction collection to enable students to more easily find nonfiction books they were looking for. It was much easier for the littlest students to locate the sports, arts and crafts, and pet books once they were in bins. Book bins were a lifesaver in the chaos of kindergarten and first grade book checkout. If I was helping one student and someone else wanted help finding dog books, I could tell them to go look for the blue basket with the dog picture. This helped them be a little more independent instead of just standing and waiting for me … Continued

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Engineering Center: Maker Gallery

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makergallery

To go along with my Engineering Center, I created a little Makerspace Gallery for students to display their finished products. The kids were so excited to show off everything they created and I hoped by creating a gallery, I could get more makerspace buy-in from my school. I would say this worked on some level with teachers but I never felt my principal “got it”. Our maker gallery was several empty bookshelves. What better to fill them with than student work? I included a sign explaining what a makerspace is and about our creations. Students who completed a project could display it with their name and a title. I especially loved seeing products from all grades, K through 5, next … Continued

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